State-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (BAPEX) discovered a major gas field at Shahbazpur in Bhola on Monday.
The country’s 27th gas field was discovered at a depth of 3,500 meters below the surface through the drilling of an exploration well.
"We are expecting an estimated one trillion cubic feet gas from the new gas field," State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid told the Daily Sun.
He also informed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina about the discovery of gas field at the regular cabinet meeting.
“It might be the biggest gas reserve we have discovered in last 10-12 years,” BAPEX Managing Director Md. Nowshad Islam told the Daily Sun.
He said the existing Shahbazpur gas field has a reserve of 500bcf (billion cubic feet), adding that the new gas field is bigger than the existing one.
The gas pressure in the newly discovered gas reserve is 5000 psi (pound-force per square inch).
The BAPEX chief said the actual reserve in the new gas field could be determined next week. "This is a new hope for Bangladesh in the era of LNG import," he said.
BAPEX initiated the drilling of the exploration well with Russian firm Gazprom at a cost of $16.6 million. The Gazprom EP International BV started the drilling of the well on August 21.
The new gas field is three and a half kilometres from the existing field in Bhola which has a production capacity of 70 mmcfd.
The government discovered a small gas field at Rupganj in Purbachal city two years ago. The gas field has a gas reserve of only 33.6bcf (billion cubic feet).
Bangladesh has a remaining gas reserve of around 12 trillion cubic feet, compelling the government to start making plans for LNG imports.
State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid earlier said the country’s natural gas reserve will start depleting from next year.
The government has been negotiating with Azerbaijan, Russian and Chinese firms for drilling 13 wells in different onshore blocks to find new gas reserves.
As per government’s vision, it plans to drill a total of 28 wells by December 2018. International oil companies will work on the drilling of 13 of those wells.
The demand for natural gas in the country has been estimated at 3781mmcfd in 2017-18 fiscal against the supply 2745.8 mmcfd from 21 existing gas fields.